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S. Korea's jobless rate drops in Nov. with job creation picking up

S. Korea's jobless rate drops in Nov. with job creation picking up

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Published : 2013-12-11 09:17
Updated : 2013-12-11 09:30

South Korea's jobless rate slightly dropped in November from a month earlier as job creation picked up speed, raising hopes that labor market conditions are improving, a government report showed Wednesday.

According to the report by Statistics Korea, the jobless rate stood at 2.7 percent last month, down from 2.8 percent in October.

The jobless rate adjusted for inflation also inched down to 2.9 percent from the previous month's 3 percent.

Job creation accelerated sharply. The number of employed people was 25.53 million in November, up 588,000 from a year earlier.

The figure represented the largest on-month increase since September last year when 685,000 jobs were added to the economy, the report showed.

The job increase comes mostly from the health and social welfare service sector, which provided an additional 218,000 positions compared with the same month a year earlier.

The lodging and dining sector also created 133,000 jobs, while transportation and manufacturing added 38,000 and 35,000, respectively, the report showed. The agriculture and fisheries sector and construction companies, however, shed 31,000 and 18,000 positions from their payrolls.

Labor market conditions for younger people slightly improved, though the situation remained bleak overall.

The report showed that the jobless rate for those aged 15-29 dropped to 7.5 percent in November from the previous month's 7.8 percent. It is still higher than the 6.7 percent reported a year earlier.

The job data heightened optimism that the country's economic recovery is gaining traction and translating into more job opportunities for people.

South Korea's gross domestic product increased 1.1 percent in the July-September period from three months earlier, after expanding at an identical pace of 1.1 percent in the second quarter. The economy grew less than 1 percent on-quarter for the previous eight straight quarters.

On Tuesday, the finance ministry said that the country's economy shows "stronger" signs of recovery, though it expressed concerns that investment and other private-sector indicators are not strong enough. (Yonhap News)

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